George R.R. Martin: "About 20" Dead Game of Thrones Characters Are Alive in Winds of Winter

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"The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways."

With two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to be written and published, author George R. R. Martin has plenty of ground in Westeros left to cover. And while the TV adaptation Game of Thrones has surpassed the timeline of his already published books, the author says that more than a dozen characters killed off in the HBO hit are alive and well for future books.

Speaking to Metro, Martin said that his novels and the TV show have gone "separate ways, leading to a much different bodycount on screen than on the page.

"On the screen characters are killed right and left. About twenty of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book," Martin said.

This of course comes in part because of the TV show extending beyond the plot of the first five novels in Martin's series, in addition to the changes made to plots and characters on the show.

Martin is working on the sixth book in the franchise, The Winds of Winter, which Martin recently said he is "months away" from completing it. He also addressed his work on the novel with Metro, which reports he is not rushing to meet a particular deadline, as he notes "age does not add enthusiasm" in the writing process.

As for the TV series, the season 7 finale, which will be the longest episode in the show's history, airs on Sunday, August 27. HBO released the first photos from the episode, "The Dragon and the Wolf," earlier today. For IGN's thoughts on the most recent episode "Beyond the Wall," read our review. Also be sure to check out how George R.R. Martin describes ice dragons.

Meanwhile, The Book of Swords, an upcoming anthology that features stories from a variety of different authors, including a Game of Thrones short story by George R. R. Martin, will be released on October 10.

Jonathon Dornbush is an Associate Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter @jmdornbush.